local_library Goodhue’s Folly

by I. Roy-Faderman

Published in Issue No. 177 ~ February, 2012

Everyone knows about that

capitol shaft in Lincoln, Nebraska,

with its climax of gold dome,

atop of which is a statue of a

shirtless farmer-man

hand-sowing grain the old way –

grain, which the brochure will tell you

is corn.


Now my family may not have been

here taming the prairie,

but I tell you what –

you hoe, you don’t sow, corn

that way;

That way’s how you sow oats or wheat,

any good Nebraska girl can tell you.


My mom saw those other Nebraska girls,

slightly slutty with a chance of accidents,

and tried to give me a scare –

I could get a disease

or cancer or I could be

ruining my life

(when AIDS got as inland as Overland Wheat,

I wondered if she felt sort of wistful

like she’d missed a *really* big stick).


I believed her well enough

to get safely off to a college

where no one grew such grain.

But when I rolled off the

airport shuttle-bus

before the wheels had really

stopped turning

there it was again:

Hoover Tower –

pink, stone column and

tiled, red dome –

Bertram Goodhue’s folly

showing me the way straight to Heaven

or somewhere a lot like it.

account_box More About

I. Roy-Faderman was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to South Asian parents, an incongruity which explains most of her subsequent behavior. While a student at Stanford University, she studied creative writing through the English Department, completed her M.D., and began publishing fiction and poetry in venues including Long Shot Magazine and Silver Web. She currently lives near San Francisco and teaches for the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University.